Overview

The Department of Theology offers integrated undergraduate programs which aim to deepen the understanding and expression of Christian faith. The programs are offered in conjunction with the Adelaide College of Divinity and lectures in theological subjects are held at the college campus in Brooklyn Park.

The Bachelor of Theology is not a program of religious studies which looks at religion from the perspective of other disciplines such as anthropology, philosophy, psychology or history; rather it is the study of specifically Christian traditions and thought. However, it goes beyond what is taught in traditional courses offered by Christian colleges because it examines theology alongside -- and in dialogue with -- other fields of study and other issues which are critical to contemporary society and culture.

The programs were created on the premise that the doctrine of the Trinity needs to be explored with the same rigour as human genetics, that the Old Testament warrants the same scholarly analysis as the Australian Constitution and that the resurrection of Christ needs to be understood with as much intellectual discipline as the French Revolution.

The programs are ecumenical, dealing with the Christian tradition in all its diversity. The lecturers are Catholic and Uniting Church scholars and the student body is even more representative, including members of Baptist, Churches of Christ, Orthodox and Pentecostal churches, as well as students with no church affiliation. The programs are inter-disciplinary, combining biblical studies, church history, systematic theology and Christian ethics with an optional stream comprising professional ministry studies such as pastoral care, Christian education and preaching.

The programs are extremely flexible, offering a range of elective topics in the second and third years of the ordinary degree and in the fourth year for those who continue to the honours degree. Students can incorporate non-theological topics drawn from areas such as education, information technology, law, philosophy or psychology. Students with a previous degree may receive credit for this component. Conversely, some theological studies can be incorporated into other Flinders degrees.

Career Options

The Bachelor of Theology, combined with further professional training, can lead to various forms of ministry and can prepare graduates for a variety of roles within their church community. When followed by a teaching qualification, it can lead to the teaching of Religious Studies.

The degree does not of itself qualify a person for ordination in any church but many students use it to fulfil part of their ordination requirements. Some begin the course before being accepted for ordination while others wait until they have been accepted as candidates. People looking towards ordination should consult the head of one of the theological colleges.

The degree also can lead to further study towards a Master of Theological Studies, Master of Theology, Master of Arts or Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Entry Requirements

Year 12 applicants must have qualified for SACE and obtained "Recorded Achievement" in at least five two-unit SACE Stage 2 subjects. Included among the five must be four HESS subjects (PES/PAS). There are no prerequisites.

Non-school leavers are eligible to apply from various backgrounds, eg tertiary transfer, TAFE, Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) and other areas.

Credit transfer arrangements are in place for applicants who have successfully completed certain TAFE courses.  Contact the Admissions Office for further details.

Programme Structure

The Department of Theology offers the ordinary degree, or first degree, of Bachelor of Theology [BTh] and the honours degree of Bachelor of Theology [BTh(Hons)] which may be taken after the ordinary degree.

At Flinders University every topic is assigned a unit value which reflects the size of the topic (that is, the number of lectures, tutorials and practical sessions that it contains). Most teaching in undergraduate theology topics is carried out on a semester basis. All topics have a weighting of 4.5 units.

Bachelor of Theology, BTh

The Bachelor of Theology requires three years of full-time study (or equivalent part-time). To qualify for the Bachelor of Theology a student must complete 108 units with a grade of P or NGP or better in each topic, according to the following program of study:

  • 36 units of Biblical Studies topics
  • 36 units of Historical and Systematic Theology topics
  • 36 units of of Ministry Studies topics or 36 units of Other Discipline/Biblical Languages topics.

Honours Bachelor of Theology, BTh(Hons)

The honours degree of Bachelor of Theology requires 36 units, or the equivalent of two semesters of full-time study. Part-time students are welcomed and the program may be completed within two years of part-time study. The honours program comprises up to 22.5 units of coursework and supervised reading topics and a supervised thesis of either 13.5 units (not more than 13,500 words) or 18 units (not more than 18,000 words).
Topics from the Master of Theological Studies degree program may, subject to the approval of the convenor, be studied as part of an honours program and will be assessed at honours level.
Students may enter the Theology Honours program if they have completed one of the following with a grade of P (Pass) or better in each topic:

  • a Flinders three year Bachelor of Theology degree
  • a Flinders Bachelor of Theological Studies (BThSt)
  • any other tertiary qualification deemed equivalent to the Flinders Bachelor of Theology (BTh) or BThSt; or
  • the first three years of the four year Flinders BTh; and
  • in the case of a Flinders qualification have passed 36 units of work at upper year level (excluding any first year level) with grades of CR (Credit) or better, at least 12 units of which must be from the discipline or area of study chosen for Honours; or
  • in the case of a tertiary qualification from another institution, their performance in obtaining that qualification was of a standard considered sufficient by the School; and
  • have successfully completed the topic THEO2704 Biblical Greek 1, or its equivalent.

Honours degrees are awarded according to classes that identify the demonstrated level of scholarship: First Class (outstanding), Second Class Division A (high), Second Class Division B (substantial), Third Class (satisfactory) and Fail (unsatisfactory).


Further Information

For further information, consult the Flinders University Course Information for Theology.

Further information can also be obtained from:

Katherine Sutcliffe 
School of Humanities
Flinders University
GPO Box 2100
Adelaide SA 5001
Australia

Tel: (+61 8) 8201 3651
Fax: (+61 8) 8201 2784
katherine.sutcliffe@flinders.edu.au